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Celebrities show support for baby brand as it relaunches FIVE months after devastating £15m arson

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Eva Longoria, Kimberley Walsh and Giovanna Fletcher are among the celebrities showing their support for a baby brand relaunching after a devastating fire.

My first year, the company was dealt a huge blow when a fire swept through their warehouse nearly five months ago, causing £15 million in damage.

As the company kicks off with a new direction 18 weeks later, their celebrity fans have shown their support by sharing snaps of their little ones in the clothes.

Actress Eva Longoria, 46, recently shared a photo of herself and son Santiago, three, wearing a sweet personalized backpack.

In the image, Eva showed off her sensational figure in a crop top and cycling shorts as she held her little one’s hand as she walked towards a private jet.

Her son wore the brand’s £25 dinosaur print backpack, which had ‘Santi’ embroidered on the front of the item.

Boys: Meanwhile, Kimberley Walsh, 39, posted an adorable image of her three sons, Bobby, six, and Cole, four, and four-month-old Nate, dressed in fuzzy robes

Boys: Meanwhile, Kimberley Walsh, 39, posted an adorable image of her three sons, Bobby, six, and Cole, four, and four-month-old Nate, dressed in fuzzy robes

Meanwhile, Kimberley Walsh, 39, posted an adorable photo of her three sons, Bobby, six, and Cole, four, and four-month-old Nate, wearing fuzzy robes.

The Kimberley boys each wore £28 fleece robes in various pastel colours, with their names stitched onto the front of the sweet garments.

In 2016, Prince George stole the show when meeting Michelle and Barack Obama in a branded robe and slippers, leading to a surge in sales for his £27 personalized bathrobe.

Giovanna Fletcher has also helped support the baby gift company whose headquarters was destroyed in the alleged arson attack.

The company’s owner and staff were devastated when the fire swept through their 90,000-square-foot property in Northampton.

The I’m A Celeb star interviewed founders Dan Price and Jonny Sitton in a social media video.

My 1st Years, which employs 150 people, had also received support offers from retail giants such as Argos and Boots – and even free office space from a local company.

TV host Giovanna told the couple: “As an outsider you see what has happened and you are completely shocked to know that the company is growing, growing, growing and then suddenly it all burns down.

“You’ve become a brand that people associate with such good times, so I feel like your customers will stick with you.”

Support: Giovanna, 36, interviewed founders Dan Price and Jonny Sitton in a social media video

Support: Giovanna, 36, interviewed founders Dan Price and Jonny Sitton in a social media video

Mother of three Giovanna is a friend of Dan and Jonny, who have built their business over the past ten years into one of the UK’s most popular suppliers of personalized baby gifts.

The couple said they feared the worst when they awoke to learn that their life’s work had gone up in flames in the early hours of May 1.

In the video, Jonny said, “We had everything there, we had our offices in the front and we had a production office behind it, and then there was the warehouse and all the inventory.”

The fire was so bad that the Northampton Fire Department needed eight pumps to extinguish the fire with water from a local river. The fire destroyed all of the company’s machinery, along with 3,000 pallets of stock.

Shock: The founders and staff of personalized gift service My 1st Years were devastated when a fire ripped through their 90,000-square-foot property in Northampton

Shock: The founders and staff of personalized gift service My 1st Years were devastated when a fire ripped through their 90,000-square-foot property in Northampton

Dan said: ‘We woke up in the early hours of Saturday, May 1, to about 60 missed calls from our chief of operations, Richard, and we realized the building was on fire. We just couldn’t believe it. We went straight there and when we got there the whole building was burned down.’

Giovanna asked the couple, ‘Are we talking about everything being gone? I take it you’re talking about fabrics and stuff… Would you have been sure no one was inside?’

Dan replied, “Luckily there was no one in the building, which was the main thing we asked about right away. It’s all our machines – and also all our stock, everything is gone. The first thing Jonny and I said that morning is that we need to show positivity to get the company back on track as soon as possible.”

Sad: the fire was so bad that the Northampton Fire Department needed eight pumps to extinguish the fire with water from a local river

Sad: the fire was so bad that the Northampton Fire Department needed eight pumps to extinguish the fire with water from a local river

The company says it has refunded about 1,400 orders from customers that were outstanding at the time of the fire within 72 hours.

It set up temporary headquarters at a local hotel with a handful, while the majority of employees were given paid time off until the company revived.

Giovanna said, “I think the drive you’ve shown since the beginning of all this (meaning) that I have no doubt that you’re going to stick with it and get it done.”

Difficult: the fire destroyed all of the company's machines, along with 3,000 pallets of stock

Difficult: the fire destroyed all of the company’s machines, along with 3,000 pallets of stock

Police have launched an arson investigation into the blaze, one of the other unexplained fires to have occurred in the area recently.

My 1st Years today thanked customers, staff and suppliers for their support.

Dan added in a statement: “At first we just didn’t know what to do, but the support we had brought us to tears and gave us strength to fight.

Company: Giovanna is a friend of Dan and Jonny who have built their business over the past ten years into one of the UK's most popular suppliers of personalized baby gifts

Company: Giovanna is a friend of Dan and Jonny who have built their business over the past ten years into one of the UK’s most popular suppliers of personalized baby gifts

“We couldn’t believe the support we were getting, from staff, from investors to big names, who gathered to get us live again, including giants like Sainsburys, Argos, Boots and many others, to smaller companies and even competitors. All kinds of offers have come in to give us office or warehouse space, all kinds of help. This is a dark time, but we really see the light now to rebuild stronger than before.

“We would like to thank the fire brigade and police who are immediately on the scene. One of the main firefighters involved was even a customer of My 1st Years, which was incredible.

“The courage of him and his colleagues humbled us. We wanted to say a big thank you to everyone, including Giovanna, we will recover for the kindness shown to us.”

After the attack caused more than £15 million in damage and halted sales in May, the brand is relaunching with a new brand direction and a whole new range of products for consumers to shop and personalize.

After the fire at the factory and offices destroyed goods, gutted property and forced My 1st Years to suspend operations completely, the company’s strong growth, estimated to reach £30 million by 2021, came to a halt.

The fire destroyed more than £3 million in inventory, over £1 million in equipment, as well as a 100,000 square foot warehouse, headquarters and photo studio, forcing customers to pay extensive refunds – while disrupting trade for more than 18 weeks.

With recovery from a fire that usually took nine to 12 months, the My 1st Years team was determined to ensure that all of their 120-strong workforce would keep their jobs and build the business stronger and more dynamic than ever before, and in a shorter period of time.

Just 18 weeks later, the brand reopens a new factory and office in Northampton, with room for staff to grow and become a more sustainable company.

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